Welsh “Trio” deny disturbing barn owl’s nest in North Wales

Raptor Politics has just learned that three men appeared in court at the end of March charged with disturbing young owls and their nest as well as damaging it. Robert Tomos Edwards, 39, of Rhydymain, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, Christopher John Osborne, 41, of Glan y Mor, Fairbourne, Gwynedd and David Alan Titley, 40, of Marina Drive, Fairbourne, Gwynedd all faced three charges each.

The first was of intentionally or recklessly disturbing a barn owl’s young. Secondly, they were charged with intentionally or recklessly disturbing a barn owl while it was in, or near a nest containing eggs or young and thirdly, intentionally damaging or destroying a barn owl’s nest while it was in use or being built. (not clear on this charge as Barn Owls do not build their nests.) It would also be very difficult, without video or photographic evidence, to prove the barn owl chicks were disturbed, it simply can not be assumed that they were.

The other significant point to highlight here is that 99% of farmers disturb nesting barn owls in active barns they own and where they have given their assitance to install nesting boxes.

At Dolgellau magistrates court, the three pleaded not guilty to all three charges. The offences carry a maximum penalty of six months’ jail.
Raptor Politics like many of our readers continue to be amazed at the lenient sentences handed down by courts to gamekeepers for killing birds of prey. We await with much anticipation to learn of the penatly handed down by the Caernarfon court if the trio are convicted.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred at Penygroeslon, near Pwllheli, Gwynedd on the same date – May 24 last year.

A pre-trial review will be held in May. The case was adjourned for a three-day trial at Caernarfon on July 10-12.


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3 comments to Welsh “Trio” deny disturbing barn owl’s nest in North Wales

  • There is no excuse for the persecution of any owl but to target the Barn Owl is unforgiveable in my book,they are without doubt the farmers best friend and with the loss of habitat becoming worse and worse for this iconic owl we cannot afford to lose any. This is a sad and despicable story coming so soon after the news of several Barn Owls being found burned in a barn. What purpose has it served? All it has done is rob the countryside of a wonderful and beautiful bird that is struggling to survive anyway.

    If this trio is found guilty then I hope they get a just punishment, farmers may disturb Barn Owls but not intentionally as these low lifes are said to have done, I have rarely spoken to a farmer that doesn’t welcome Barn Owls or wish he had them on his land and breeding in his barns.

  • Erica

    Very well said Chrissie. The Lune Rivers Trust has taken the matter of decling Barn owls in the Lune valley to heart. Our Chairman, Mick Jackson makes barn owl boxes at cost price (£20) for materials and all the construction time is donated for free. When we do any habitat work along the extensive Lune catchment we offer any farmer/landowner a free barn owl box, or boxes, and will assist with installing them. We select the darkest area of the barn and put a small amount of dry sawdust from untreated wood in the bottom of the box – about three handfuls, and any barn owl pellets we can find on top of it. No farmer has ever refused a box and the barn owls are using them. We have had excellent help and advice from Raptor Politics and the world owl trust. There is more information about barn owls on the LRT website.

  • We do the same here Erica, donating five owl boxes a year and giving advice to farmers and landowners, I am committed to help our wild Barn Owls in any way I can. Keep up the good work.